PRESS STATEMENT By People’s National Congress Reform Thursday, July 5, 2007 Media Centre Congress Place, Sophia



15TH BIENNIAL CONGRESS OF THE PNCR, JULY 20TH – 22ND, 2007

At a Press Conference held on May 10th, 2007, the People's National Congress Reform informed the nation of its 15th Biennial Congress from July 20th to July 22nd, 2007. This 15th Biennial Congress is significant in many ways. It is being held in the year of the Party’s 50th Anniversary as PNC. Second Local Government Elections under the new reformed system are imminent; House-to-House Registration to create a new National Register is about to begin; the PPP/C Administration appears bent on creating a dictatorship and this is compounded by mismanagement of the economy and wide spread corruption; and, the Party itself has been engaged in a period of unprecedented self criticism and analysis. These and other matters will require direction of the Congress. It is therefore appropriate that the Congress is being held under the theme “PNCR – United, Rejuvenated and Repositioned for the next 50 Years.”

The Biennial Congress is the highest decision making forum of the Party and was institutionalized in 1973 when the Party took the decision to meet every two years instead of the Annual Congresses which were held since 1957.

The Pre-Congress activity within the Party and in the media has stimulated most of our membership who have placed themselves in order to meaningfully participate in this historic Congress. It is therefore anticipated that some three thousand (3,000) Delegates and Observers from all ten Regions will be well represented at the Congress.

The main activities of the Congress include the Party Chairman, Mr. Winston Murray’s address which will be delivered at the Opening Session on the afternoon of Friday July 20th; the Congress Address to be delivered by the Party Leader, Mr. Robert H. O. Corbin, the Report of the General Secretary, Mr. Oscar Clarke, on the activities of the Party for the last biennium, work-shop discussions on uniting, rejuvenating and repositioning the Party in accord with the Congress theme and the election of Office bearers and the Central Executive Committee.

Resolutions and Motions submitted by groups countrywide will be considered by the Delegates present and questions submitted by groups will also be answered by the relevant persons as a specific item on the Agenda. On Saturday evening there will be a Seven-A- Side Football competition among the Regions, highlighted by a female football feature match. On Sunday morning there will also be a 50th anniversary road race and a fitness walk. Early on Sunday morning there will also be a special religious thanksgiving service before the Congress of business commences. The Congress will conclude with a Cultural Extravaganza.

As previously stated an essential consideration of the Congress will be how the Party could be revitalised, repositioned and rejuvenated for the next 50 years. In order to achieve these aims it will have to review, in depth the work and activities in which the Party and its organs have been engaged and to determine what is required to enable the Party to effectively prepare for and overcome the challenges in the period ahead.

This Congress is taking place at a time when the very nature of political parties is being called into question and parties as well as leaders are being forced to respond to global and national events in such a manner as to maintain the relevance and integrity of their organisations. It therefore follows that the nature and organizational structure will be discussed. Several motions received so far indicate that members are concerned about these matters.

The political, economic and social situation of Guyana will naturally be matters for analysis and review by the Congress and recommendations on the way forward are sure to emerge. The developments in the security area where crime is threatening to swamp this nation are matters that delegates have signaled their intention to raise. In the field of education, no less a person than the Minister himself has admitted that all is not well. The state of the economy speaks for itself and needs no elaboration. The refusal by the PPP/C Administration to demonopolise radio, and their refusal to implement the task force proposals for Broadcast Legislation, reflect a desire on the part of the Administration to deny Guyanese the right to have access to information. These and other issues will engage the attention of the Congress and decisions made.

As the Party celebrates its 50 years of existence this year, the Congress will not only review its past achievements but also scrutinize those elements that led to its success as a political organisation and a force in national politics. It must be an important point of consideration for the Congress that in the 50 years of its existence the Party has been able to overcome challenges and remain cohesive and vibrant.

In preparation for the Congress, the Party has set up a Congress Committee from which several Sub-Committees were appointed to manage various aspects of the Congress programme. These include Thematics and Congress issues, Physical Arrangements, Accommodation and Transportation, Meals and Refreshments, Administration, Accreditation, Publicity and Public Relations. Each one of the Sub-Committees is headed by a senior member of the Executive. The tasks of these committees are to ensure that the Congress is efficiently organised and competently executed. Above all things the preparations being undertaken are to ensure that whatever transpires at the Congress is in accordance with the Party’s Constitution and its traditional norms and practices. In fact in the preparation for the Congress the Party has done every thing possible to ensure that it has acted within the framework of the Constitution and the relevant procedures and administrative practices. Several Nominations have been received for various positions in the Party, by the time the nomination process came to an end on June 30, 2007.

The nominees are being written to, to ascertain their interest in accepting the relevant positions. When this process is complete the Party will be in a position to announce the final list of candidates for the various offices. The deadline given is July 11th.

The heightened interest shown by members of the Party for this Congress indicates that it is likely to be an important one in the history of the Party. It is our expectation that the Party will emerge from this Congress stronger united and committed to continue giving service to the people of Guyana and making a reality of our Congress theme: “PNCR – United, Rejuvenated and Repositioned for the next 50 Years.”

People's National Congress Reform
Congress Place, Sophia
Georgetown, Guyana
Thursday, July5, 2007